Yes, doing a job search can be a full-time job.  If things stall out on the road to that “dream job” of yours — something that utilizes every bit of your natural talents and abilities, and even starts to bring out a few you haven’t even really developed yet — and the combination of prayers along with a blessing from Lady Luck aren’t quite shining on you yet, there’s always that old-time job search to fall back on to with which to spend your days.

A selection of programming language textbooks ...
A selection of programming language textbooks on a shelf. Levels and colors adjusted in the GIMP. Français : Une étagère en bois de houx naturel lacqué : Prgrammé en java pour avoir l'AIR réel. Ainsi que quelques livres (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Been there, doing that.  On the plus side, I spent a chunk of Monday morning at one of the local employment offices signing paperwork that let me know I had been officially approved for funding toward a three-week retraining program that will break me out of that stuffy mainframe computer programming language I’ve become so proficient in over the last 16 years.  I’ll be getting into a sleek, sexy, powerful language that (for the time being, seeing as how “new and improved” programming languages seem to change every so often) is part of the huge world out there of web-based programming.

It may not be my “dream job (yet),” and it may mean a return to the days when I need to work away from home once I get placed somewhere (my lovely wife won’t like that, she’s actually grown to love having me home for the past six months), but it’ll mean an income, possibly even some benefits.  Lord knows we need that, as soon as possible.

My retraining counselor at the employment office, Devin, must like me for some reason.  He’s really busted his hump and seemingly sped up the approval process in a big way to get me approved and to a point where I go “back to school” starting May 14.  Three or four weeks after that, I’ll be certified to do all kinds of crazy things on the worldwide web.  Thank you Devin!

But, in the meantime, hey, why not take one more shot at seeing what if any “miracle” could possibly happen in terms of finding that “dream job” out there for me.  I guess you could consider this my “services offered” advertisement to the world.

My requirements are these:

  1. Any job offered to me must provide a steady income that meets my family’s needs in staying within our budget, and it’s not like we live an extravagant lifestyle.  For cryin’ out loud, our newest vehicle is a 1999 Dodge Caravan that’s approaching 200,000 miles and it’s turning into a rattletrap.  Beyond that, it’s a 1998 Dodge Ram 1500 4×4 with about 150,000 miles and getting closer to needing new tires, and a 1996 Toyota Celica GT convertible with about 250,000 miles on it that’s been sitting still in front of our house since about November because of a problem I haven’t had the money to fix yet because things like food, shelter, utility bills, and other pesky daily needs are still in the way while we live off of retirement money and unemployment checks along with Amy’s small teaching income.
  2. Benefits such as health insurance coverage that actually meets our needs (Ha!!!!), dental coverage, vision, 401K (since my retirement money that I have now is dwindling), etc., would be a definite plus.
  3. The ability to telecommute would be a plus but not a deal-breaker.  I can be flexible that way.
  4. I would be willing to relocate if necessary, and if I had to move to California the northern half would be preferred.  I would also be willing to travel as needed.
  5. Treat me with some semblance of respect — at least most of the time — like I’m a human being with half a brain.  Don’t treat me like I’m just a face in a room with nothing valuable to say, so when I give input you just decide often times to ignore me.  That’s what a “boss” does.  That’s not what a “leader” does.  If you treat me with respect and caring and intelligence and an ear for an idea and are willing to really listen to me, I will treat you the same way.
  6. Don’t be afraid to offer me constructive criticism.  I can take that.  By the same token, don’t give me a glowing performance review one month and then turn around and cut me with an extra dig of “I haven’t been happy with your work for a while now.”  Oh, and if I have any questions on something that I’ve been struggling to figure out, please don’t treat me like an imbecile and send me away with the impatient tone of “Just go figure it out,” and then criticize me later when you find that things aren’t done exactly the way you would have done them.  Again, that’s what a “boss” does.  That’s not what a “leader” does.
  7. Must be willing to take on someone with a few gray hairs on his face.

Now, for my strengths and abilities:

  • Strong communication skills, both written and verbal.  I can be a pretty cool guy to work with, if you’ll decide to work with me.  I’ve worked in newspapers, I’ve managed an editorial staff, I can do photography work, I can be an instructor, I can be a leader, I can be a motivator.  And did I mention that I can be a pretty cool guy to work with?  Oh, yeah, I did.
  • I’m a hard worker, whether there’s money involved in what I’m doing or it’s unpaid volunteer work.  It’s all the same to me.  I can give you a list of names of people who can tell you the same about me.
  • Cropped headshot of Keith Olbermann
    Cropped headshot of Keith Olbermann (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    I’m honest.  I offered my services as a media consultant weeks ago to any outlet that wanted them.  No one’s come forward to take me up on that offer yet.  That must mean that everything in the major media is just plain peachy in their eyes.  But I can be honest and objective enough to tell conservative places like Fox News (also known as Faux News in my book) that they’ve got a lot of work to do in the media bias department, just as easily as I can tell a hollering liberal pundit like Keith Olbermann that he has a few issues of his own that he needs to address before he ever finds another job somewhere else.

  • I’m creative.  You don’t think it takes some creativity to come up with at least one new, original blog post on a daily basis for the past … wow, almost six months now?!
  • I can adapt.  How many people do you know who could switch from being a creative writer/editor/layout designer to a computer programmer and back again, to taking a shot as a “music promoter” to doing a job search and handling programming job interviews, basically all at the drop of one of my cowboy hats?
  • Do I have confidence?  You tell me.

As for any weaknesses:

  • I can be my own worst critic.  I’m harder on myself when I mess up than anyone else needs to be, and I will readily admit when I mess up.  I’m not perfect.  But, then, who among us is perfect?

As for my education:

  • High school graduate.
  • One year of college studying journalism at Idaho State University, where I worked three part-time sports writing jobs (including United Press International) during that year before launching a 16-year career as a journalist.
  • Idaho State University
    Idaho State University (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Two years in an intense computer software engineering program at ISU, sacrificing two years’ worth of time with my two oldest children so I could study day and night and try to give them a better future, finishing on the Dean’s List with a 3.90 GPA, two scholarships, two years’ worth of serving as an outspoken representative in student government as elected by my classmates, and working two or three part-time jobs in public relations for ISU and as a correspondent for a daily newspaper, as well as working part-time as a computer programming tutor AND an instructor’s aide for night classes to supplement my family’s income while I went to school.

  • Longtime student in the School of Hard Knocks.

So, there you have it.  Don’t think for a minute that I’m not serious.  I’m VERY serious.   My family’s future is riding on this, just as it has since October 28, 2011, and I was told that my work didn’t amount to a hill of beans.

At least I have retraining to fall back on, and that world of web programming that could await me.  It is much better than a kick in the pants, as long as I don’t end up working for someone who decides to give me a kick in the pants … again.

Thank you for your consideration.

Copyright 2012, Daddysangbassdude Media

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